STRATHMERE – The days of kids in Strathmere ordering pizza from Sea Isle City and hitching a ride back with the delivery driver may soon be over.
Lynda Brown, who manages the Deauville Inn on Willard Avenue, said she has heard the apocryphal stories and others from residents and summer visitors who have had trouble finding a ride into Sea Isle City or back to Strathmere. That is why, for the past two years, she has worked to arrange a jitney service for Strathmere in the summer.
This year, her son Walter Scanlon, the bar manager at the Deauville Inn, finally made it happen. Starting Memorial Day weekend, a jitney will run between JFK Boulevard in Sea Isle City and three locations in Strathmere – the Deauville, Mildred’s and La Fontana.
“Hopefully people in Strathmere and Sea Isle City will use it,” Brown said in a Thursday, April 30 interview. “They won’t have to lose their parking spaces.”
Brown said that the Deauville, Mildred’s and La Fontana are subsidizing the jitney for now, but after July she said the plan is to have ticket fares cover the cost. She said she hopes the jitney helps business, but it is also meant to be a convenience for Strathmere residents.
“If the demand is there, they will add additional jitneys too,” she said. “There’s no public transportation in Strathmere outside of paying for a taxi but there are a huge number of people here in the summer, including the people who move into the trailer resorts.”
Sea Isle City contracts with the Sea Isle City Jitney Association each summer to provide service throughout the island. Brown said the same jitney association will be providing the service to Strathmere as well.
From Memorial Day weekend through the end of June, jitneys will run 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Starting July 2, the jitneys will add Thursdays to the schedule, Brown said.
The route will run from JFK Boulevard in Sea Isle City to the three Strathmere restaurants. The Strathmere jitney will include stops along Ocean Drive/Commonwealth Avenue, JFK Boulevard and Fish Alley. Those seeking to travel from Strathmere to Sea Isle City can wait at the restaurants or stand on the west side of Ocean Drive, Brown said.
The Strathmere jitney will not go south of JFK Boulevard, but travelers can jump on another Sea Isle City jitney to travel as far south as Townsends Inlet, she said.
Each of the restaurants will also have the jitney driver’s phone number, so they can call for a pick up if there are patrons waiting for a ride, or call off a jitney if there is nobody there, Brown said.
“Most of us are closed by 1 a.m. but the jitney runs to 4 a.m. so people have a ride home,” she said. “Hopefully this adds some business for us. It will be good for the tourists and kids.”
During the summer months, jitney drivers will stop at any corner except JFK Boulevard and Landis Avenue, according to the Sea Isle City Chamber of Commerce and Revitalization. Riders just have to flag the driver.
The fee to ride a jitney one way is $2 per person before 11 p.m. and $4 per person after 11 p.m. Children 5 and under sitting on an adult’s lap ride for free.
Sea Isle City jitneys run from 29th to 94 streets along Landis Avenue. This year, Sea Isle’s jitney service will run on weekends during the month of May – 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Fridays and 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Saturdays.